31 March, 2019

A Pregnancy Journey - A Dad's perspective

I heard an excited scream early in the morning. It is not usual for Anjali getting up before me. So, I ran to the bathroom to know what actually happened.

When I am about to knock the door before forcing it open, Anjali opened the door with a shocking expression combined with happiness.

 "Ashok, See this!", She showed a stick with 2 pink lines.
I am clueless. "Arey, Budhu, We are going to become parents!"

I am not sure if I was happy or very excited, But I didn't feel to do anything like the men do in movies - holding the heroine and jumping with joy. I asked Anjali to take doctor appointment and let me know so that I can take leave (if needed).

First 3 months

Anjali is completely changed. She has severe vomiting sensation almost all times of the day (I don't why then doctor calls it only Morning sickness). Because of that sensation, she became very sensitive to smells, couldn't go to the kitchen, couldn't eat anything, and becoming weak due to vomitings.

I feel sorry for her, but I couldn't do anything other than reminding her to take the tablet to avoid morning sickness. I observed that more traffic and more braking during the drive to office is increasing her morning sickness. I have chosen a different route which is long but with less traffic and less pollution for our daily commute to the office. I had to start cooking as she cannot bear any smell and I know I am horrible at cooking, but I have to try.

Next 3 months

This time is cool. Anjali is back to normal again, her morning sickness gone.  She is happy and taking care of her diet. We are shopping together for healthy food like nuts, fruits etc., She is also having cravings surprisingly sometimes even in the midnights, we are going on a fun ride in the nights sometimes just to get her favorite ice cream/chana chaat that she likes.

I also see her mood swings because of hormone changes. She gets upset easily nowadays and cries even for a small fight between us. Seems strange, but I understand, it is not her fault after all but due to hormonal changes. Sometimes, it gets tough, but I am practicing patience.

8 to 9 Months

Anjali has changed physically. She is completely different now. All her old wardrobe doesn't fit her now and we are going for shopping trips often.

She looks tired, she has become plump and always panting for even walking fast. I cannot do anything to share her load though. The baby might be growing fast inside.

I told her to take leave from office and rest at home, but she took work from home as she felt, it's boring without office work. She cannot see her feet itself these days, as her tummy stretched to some extent. Since swollen feet is becoming a norm these days, I am applying oil daily to her feet before sleeping.

Many times, she asks me to feel the kicks of the baby, but the baby stops kicking exactly when I touch her tummy. I think I am slowly making an emotional bond to my baby even without seeing. It seems strange though!

I am nervous too as Anjali entered 9th month. I am always on alert whenever my phone rings. I keep my car tank full of fuel in case I need to drive to the hospital any day. I keep gynecologist's numbers and my insurance contact numbers handy. I explored the shortest and fastest routes to the hospital beforehand. I couldn't sleep well in the nights as I am awake whenever she moves and I want to be ready whenever she needs help.

Hospital Room

Ok, Our wait ended today. But, the experience is a mix of all emotions. When Anjali is in her labor room shouting with unbearable pain, I felt handicapped as I couldn't help her in any way, except checking her regularly to motivate her.

Anjali gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. All tired, she is sleeping after bearing pains for 12 hrs. The baby looked adorable and this sweet little Angel is nothing like I have dreamed before. It is time that I share my love with another Angel - my beautiful girl along with Anjali.

These 9 months were a hell of a ride. All is well, that ends well, right?

Until next time,

As women, we go through a lot during pregnancy but we forget that our spouse goes through a lot too with us and without our partner's support, those 9 months won't be easy. That is the reason, I wrote this post which I dedicate to all lovely dads and husbands who support their wives on their pregnancy and parenting journey.

This blog post is written for a blog train #LetsBlogwithPri hosted by Prisha , this is my take for the given picture prompt.
Thanks to Sneha Jubin for introducing me. Read her take on why we shouldn't judge other moms. 
 I introduce you to Kavita Singh. Kavita is a mom blogger and book lover. Hop onto the train to read more interesting Parenting posts.

Hosted By :
Prisha Lalwani
IG: @mummasaurus1
FB: /mummasaurus1
Twitter: @mummasaurus1

29 March, 2019

The top 6 things to do in Santa Fe, New Mexico

This post may contain affiliate links, clicking on those links may earn some commission to us without any additional cost to you.

Santa Fe is the capital of New Mexico. It is famous for its houses in pueblo style architecture and the art displays.

The town is vibrant, colorful and heaven for art lovers. There are innumerable art museums and several art stores displaying their creations. This place is also famous for its authentic Mexican cuisine. I am not foody, but I can vouch for it as I loved the Mexican food there.

How to reach and Where to stay?

Flight options below $300:

A few accommodation options in Santa Fe:

Here are a few places that you must visit on a 2-day trip :

1. Meow Wolf :
I have prepared this list keeping my kids in mind, so all these places are kid-friendly. The first one from the list is Meow Wolf. This is a unique house with art installations and interactive media which is interesting for kids to explore. This is also kind of a maze where there are confusing connections between rooms. Kids and parents can spend around 2hrs exploring the house.

The tickets are priced at $29 for adults and $21 for kids. Check this site for more information.

Meow Wolf

2. Art displays :

If you love art, there is not a second of a dull moment in Santafe. There are innumerable art displays and museums. Canyon Road is a street full of art displays, metal installations, creative designs etc. There are around 200 art galleries present in the same street. So, A stroll in the evening on this road is very interesting. Nedra Matteucci Gallery is beautiful. 

3. Museums:

 Even though there are multiple museums, some of them that I found interesting are :

  • Georgia O'Keefee Museum - Every Friday, the admission is free from 5 to 8PM. 
  • Museum of Fine Arts
  • Palace of Governors / New Mexico History Museum

4. Architectural displays :

If you love architecture, visit Loretto Chapel for their famous spiral staircase and the Cathedral Basilica of St.Francis of Assisi for beautiful designs. Since they don't allow you to touch spiral stairs, I felt, the admission fee is not worth it in Loretto Chapel.

If you have time, Visit Shidoni Gallery. Entry fee is $5 and Kids will love this.

You can visit the Oldest House in the
Cathedral Basilica of St.Francis of Assisi


5. Outdoors / Hiking:

If  you like outdoor activities like hiking, walking scenic trails and exploring nature, then you can add the below places to your list:

Camel Rock Monument is on US Route 84 near exit 175. It is a good place to take pictures.

Kasha - Katuwe Tent Rocks National monument is a unique place to watch rocks formed like cones. These cone-shaped formations are the result of Volcanic eruptions that occurred around 6 million years ago. This is approximately 40 miles from Santa Fe.

Image by : https://pixabay.com/photos/tent-rocks-kasha-katuwe-desert-796004/

Bandelier National Monument preserves the Petroglyphs and the ancient Pueblo style cliff dwellings. 

Also, Kids would love to visit Liquid Light Glass. It is a glass gallery/ studio. Children will be excited to see the demos of how glass is made and they can even take classes.

Santa Fe Botanical Garden is a good place to explore different plants and flowers. Even the road leading to the gardens has excellent mountain views. 

Camel Rock Monument

6. Food :

If you love Mexican food, do try 

The Shed 
Cafe Pasqual's
Compound Restaurant

For lovely desserts, check these places
Whoo's Donuts
Kakawa Chocolate House

Kakawa Chocolate house is famous for Aztec Warrior Chocolate Elixir. Blue corn pancakes are the preferred local flavor for breakfast and Strawberry Habanero Gelato is a must try at Ecco.

How did you like this travel guide? What activities you might enjoy as a family in Santa Fe? Do let me know in comments.

Until next time,

26 March, 2019

Gratitude List for February 2019 #GratitudeCircle

I am late to the Gratitude Party :-) There are other things which kept me busy and away from blogging in March. Somehow, found time only today to make my gratitude list. 

February has been an amazing month with our anniversary and our elder son's birthday. We could go on a road trip too after a long time, which is such a relief. 

I am grateful for:

The strength and support of the family:

After a long time, we have spent some sleepless nights due to kids being sick. But, I thank God that those days are gone. 

The weather is worst this year in Colorado compared to the last 2 years. We have seen many snow storms. The temperatures fluctuated like crazy, one day while it was 60 Fahrenheit, the next day was the snow storm with single digit temperatures. Kids fell sick multiple times, but we (my husband and myself) could survive and come out of it.  

Travel :

Travel is such a booster to my energy. I am very happy to have traveled to Santa Fe, New Mexico for our anniversary. A bit busy now, so couldn't post my travelogue yet. 

Santa Fe is a unique town for art lovers. The sculptures and metal art displays are amazing. The camel rock and the wonderland style 'meow Wolf' is also good.

 This was the only trip that we had very less time / even no time to plan. Booking hotels and packing bags itself was tough though everything went well. 

The Cute Robot at Meon Wolf

Dance Practice :

I am happy to have started dance practice again. This activity will keep me fit for some days. 

My Dance class students are learning fast and going ahead, which means I have to practice more to teach them. I am enjoying this phase. With 2 more performances planned in April, Even this month I am focusing more on my dance skills. 

My only goal is to improve my stamina at least to some extent by regular practice.

Painting Party :

I always think that the kid's birthday parties should be celebrated in a different way. This year, we chose Art which is the favorite for my elder one. 

So, I have enjoyed purchasing canvases, painting supplies to all the kids who attended the party and the kids enjoyed painting well. A cool celebration!

Kids Paintings

Satyanarayana Pooja and New car :

I feel grateful and blessed as our family could perform Satyanarayana Pooja at the temple. We also got the New car which is an 8 seater and a good deal. My children loved the Van as it is very comfortable and spacious for them. We got this car during a snowstorm, but all is well that ends well, right? I am so happy about that. 

First Time drove through a winter storm

How about your February and March? Let me know in comments.

Until next time,

19 March, 2019

Children's Miracle Network Hospitals #ChildrensHospitalsWeek

More than 10 million kids enter a children’s hospital like Children's Hospital Colorado across North America every year. To provide the best care for kids, children’s hospitals rely on donations and community support, as Medicaid and insurance programs do not fully cover the cost of care. 

Since 1983, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has helped fill those funding gaps by raising more than $5 billion, most of it $1 at a time through Miracle Balloon icon campaigns. Its various fundraising partners and programs support the nonprofit’s mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible.

This #ChildrensHospitalsWeek, I request you to donate to help many children get the best medical treatment.

  • 62
  • Children enter a CMN Hospital every minute
  • 1 IN 10
  • Children in North America are treated by a CMN Hospital each year
  • 32 MILLION
  • Patients visits are provided for 10 million kids every year by CMN Hospitals

Until next time,

From An-other Land by Tanushree Ghosh - Book Spot Light and GiveAway

Book Details:

Book Title: From An-Other Land by Tanushree Ghosh

Category: Adult Fiction, 224 pages

Genre: Short Stories, Immigrant Stories, Literary

Publisher: Readomania Publishing

Release date: December 4, 2018

Tour dates: March 18 to April 5, 2019

Content Rating: PG + M (It has mature themes in the backdrop in some stories, but doesn't have explicit language or description)

Book Description:

Never has been the conversation on immigration more pertinent than now, post 2016 US elections. From cancellation of refugee protection and zero tolerance to undercurrent crackdown on H visas to the border wall - the resurgence of nationalism is hitting the globalized population head-on.

But what is immigration today? A question of life or death - fleeing of persecution? A compulsion? Or a mere pursuance of privilege? And what is the US today? A land of opportunities? Or a quagmire impossible to comprehend, inherently racist and selfish?

From An-Other Land dives deep into immigration today for the diaspora and its many facets with characters who seek to define themselves in an intercultural setting that is less and less sure of itself. A reality check and a guide for anyone who wants to understand the modern-day US.

To read reviews, please follow Tanushree Ghosh's page on iRead Book Tours.

Buy the Book:

Meet the Author:

Tanushree Ghosh works in Tech and has a Doctorate in Chemistry from the Cornell University. She is also a social activist and writer. Her blog posts, op-eds, poems, and stories are an effort to provoke thoughts, especially towards issues concerning women and social justice.

She is a contributor (past and present) to several popular e-zines (incl. The Huffington Post US, The Logical Indian, Youth Ki Awaaz, Tribune India, Women’s Web, and Cafe Dissensus). Her literary resume includes poems and stories featured in national and international magazines (Words Pauses and Noises, UK; TUCK, Glimmer Train Honorable mention) as well as inclusion in seven anthologies such as Defiant Dreams (Oprah 2016 reading list placeholder) and The Best Asian Short Stories 2017 (published out of Singapore by Kitaab). Her first single-author book, From An-Other Land, is on immigration.

She has held different leadership roles in non-profits (ASHA and AID India) and is the founder and director of Her Rights (www.herrights.website), a 501(3) c non-profit committed to furthering the cause of gender equality. She is often an invited speaker or panelist for both corporate and non-profit endeavors.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends April 12, 2019

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Until next time,

Uthan by Uthania Jackson - [Book Review]

Follow the adventures of Uthan as he goes on his first holiday and encounters the magic of a world under the sea.

Mum, Uthania, was inspired to write this story after discovering video selfies of Uthan after they came back from their holiday together.

Information about the Book
Title: Uthan
Author: Uthania Jackson
Release Date: 14th March 2019
Genre: Picture Book
Page Count: 18
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing

My Review:

The story is about a place where Uthan goes on a vacation and enjoys the experience. Of course,  any kid would be excited to see turtles and colorful fish snorkeling in a sea. 

Uthan is also excited to swim with turtles and to touch them. 

The illustrations are attractive and the book cover is colorful. My kids loved the story. The narration is also interesting to kids.

I would recommend this book to all children below 8 years. 

My Rating: 5/5

PS: I have received this book from the author in exchange for a review and this is my honest opinion on the book.

Author Information
Uthania Jackson was born in Newport Shropshire, England on the 16th of March 1970 & is the youngest of 5 siblings, 2 brothers & 2 sisters. Both her parents are Jamaican & her dad is part Chinese. She grew up in Telford Shropshire & now resides in Buckinghamshire.

She overcame childhood adversity & started modelling age 16 for modelling agency MMA in Manchester. She then became a professional dancer in 1992 after being spotted by a producer for a cabaret show in Monte Carlo landing a 6 month contract. She was so successful she ended up staying in Monte Carlo for 6 years we’re she made lifelong friendships & met influential people that would transform the rest of her life including the Prince of Monaco & the late Barry White who was a mentor & inspiration to her ‘who said patience is not a virtue...it is a power’.

She soon ventured back to England in 1997 to work with choreographer Alan Ardin but was forced to retire early from professional dancing due to serious injury.

Despite this career setback Uthania Jackson was keen to use her passion for & her in-depth knowledge of dance, hospitality & etiquette training further, chancing it in the role of trainee manager for a private gentlemen’s club. She soon worked her way up to general & operations manager becoming successful in a predominantly male dominated industry in which she would meet a wide range of people that would shape her career & adult life. She set herself apart with her ethics, integrity, hard work & as a strong single black working mum with a successful career becoming a well respected figurehead within the industry managing various clubs over her years.

She is now a published author of kids literature. Her first book titled Uthan is the first instalment of a series of novels that follow her first & only miracle 5 year old son that she had aged 42; Uthan, as he encounters & explores the magic of the world around him.

Uthania was inspired to write these novels after she accidentally stumbled on Video selfies & diaries that her son had recorded while they were away on holiday together in the caribbean on her IPad.

In the books she recalls the fond memories they created & his pure childlike excitement for every adventure & moment they shared.

Join her & her son as they adventure around the world together.

Tour Schedule

Monday 11th March

Tuesday 12th March

Wednesday 13th March

Thursday 14th March

Friday 15th March

Monday 18th March

Tuesday 19th March

Wednesday 20th March

Thursday 21st March

Friday 22nd March

Until next time,

14 March, 2019

7 Effective Ways To Earn Travel Reward Points - A Guest Post

It's been long since the most beneficial ways to deal with winning commendable travel rewards was with the assistance of flying and remaining in some hotels only.

Frankly, there are a significant number of non-travel sources which can add to accomplishing travel rewards that you can utilize. The reward points can in all likelihood be substantial for any individual who wishes to travel in an affordable manner and sometimes even free.

This may sound inconceivable at first yet you can really travel in a better way or if nothing else near to free with the assistance of these rewards. The crucial thing to realize how to acquire travel rewards that can really be utilized. Follow the steps given below to win travel rewards and make your next trip successful.

    Use Credit cards often: 

    Credit cards are an extraordinary method for acquiring travel rewards. Each time you pay for something in real money, you should remember that you are disposing of a chance to get substantial travel rewards. On the off chance that you view yourself as a financially smart individual then you must utilize your rewards gaining credit cards for most of the things that you purchase. 

    These days, you can use your credit card for nearly anything from satisfying your bills, to pay for your utilities, eating out and even for paying the rents. In any case, remember that you should utilize your credit card without enjoying overspending or acquiring any sort of interests. The choice to shop with your card is a clear and effective strategy to accumulate the reward points.

    Get yourself registered with a good travel provider:

    Is there a particular airline or a hotel that you favor the more than others? Go online and get yourself registered for these remunerations plans with that aircraft or a hotel. 

    This technique will help you in becoming a member and get you simple travel rewards for any future flights and even potential hotel stays. 

    Choose the right credit cards: 

    Credit cards are irrefutably the most advantageous method for acquiring rewards that can be exceptionally valuable. There are various sorts of cards that are intended to satisfy distinctive purposes. Therefore, you should always check and update yourself with the type of credit card before applying for a credit card online

    Picking the reward credit cards can be incredibly helpful. The cards are known for offering rewards on every single credit trade. The reward cardholders can get rewards focusing on the aggregate of their retail, online, and diverse exchanges. 

    Similarly, the customers can keep verifying the reward points as well. They can also secure more points when they spend a specific total in an express timeframe. Credit cards offer stunning travel compensates that can be helpful. 

    Get paid for your work trips: 

    To ensure that you get more travel rewards, a standout amongst the best ways is to get whatever points you can manage from the business travel as is permitted and use these rewards for personal use.

     If your association travel plan grants it, at that point pay for the travel and development costs with your money. Utilize your credit card to pay for whatever costs as could reasonably be expected while you are on a work trip and make the most out of this trip by winning travel rewards. You can generally get reimbursed later by your company. 

    Stay updated with the offers: 

    It is important to stay aware of the limited period offers in malls. This can be amazingly useful. 

    Just through occasional shopping and enhancing for a part of these offers that are offered amid the festive season, you can undoubtedly get enough for a round trip to your most loved destination. This is a keen technique to gain a lot of travel rewards. 

    The way to acing this technique is to be aware of these offers at the right time and making the most out of those ideas at the perfect time. 

    Offer to pay for contributory outings: 

    At whatever point you go out for a contributory gathering with your companions, offer to pay with your card on the off chance that it has reward points. Suppose you go out with five of your companions for a contributory outing and you pay with your credit card. Thus, you won't simply get the reward for eating out however you will likewise get the remuneration money from your companions. This technique enables you to inspire points of interest and additional money to pay it off. 

    Book a travel package: 

    Although, you can plan travel with the help of a loan as well. However, using your credit card for booking a holiday is also a fair deal. The card suppliers have an agreement with many travel operators that can be very useful for you. Your card isn't only valuable for helping you travel with your favorite airlines or staying at your favorite hotel only, it can in like manner empower you to book your entire holiday while winning travel rewards. 

    At whatever point in future, you book a holiday next with your card, look out for a holiday package that is accessible. When you book a holiday along these lines, you can win a lot of rewards that can be helpful for your holiday.

    About the Author:

    Shipra Aggarwal

    Shipra is a personal finance writer, working with a prominent News Daily in Chandigarh. She has the experience of over 3 years in the BFSI industry and she loves to share her experience with the users by giving them in-depth knowledge of personal finance.

    Until next time,

    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...